Networking is a constant cycle of building and maintaining relationships, all of which can help you cultivate information and leads about potential career opportunities. If you’ve ever talked to a professor, chatted with a family friend, or made conversation with someone on a plane, then you’ve already networked!
Ready to network? Here are some conversation starters both in-person and via email.
Preparing to Network
A Note About Your Privacy & Online Reputation
Since so much networking is done online, it’s important to periodically review and/or clean up your web presence. Employers, graduate admissions representatives, and even networking contacts will likely search for you online and factor what they find into their decision-making. Google yourself and then consider the following: "Am I comfortable with an employer seeing this visual and written content about me?" Check out Hiatt videos on how to build a professional online brand that meets your goals.
Practicing Safe Networking
Whether you are connecting with an alum, a potential employer or a friend of a friend, it's important to take safety precautions when meeting someone new. "Networking up" creates a power dynamic that can at times be difficult to navigate. Remember that you are an equal party in any conversation and have the power to end it at any time if your instincts tell you to do so. Consider the following tips and advice to help keep you safe.
Informational interviews are important tools in networking. If you’ve ever turned to a friend to ask them about their plans for the weekend, that’s an informational interview! More than just building your network, informational interviews are intentional and targeted.
Use an informational interview as you’re still deciding on majors and careers to learn how others apply their education to the workplace. You can also use the informational interview to gain insight about a specific role or company before applying. This insight before you apply can help you decide if you should apply or how to enhance your application.
Lunch or coffee meeting, phone call, or video chat all these can be informational interviews. The same principles of networking apply in informational interviews.
The Rise Together Mentor Network is an online platform that joins Brandeis students and alumni from all over the world to make connections, exchange career advice, expand their network and learn more about industries, careers and the world of work.
Brandeis alumni want to help meet you, and Rise Together help you get connected to them.
Career Advice Beyond Brandeis
What's better than hearing advice from Brandeisians that have been where you are before? Alumni offer career advice for future graduates in the areas of getting started, dealing with stress, overcoming obstacles, staying curious, and networking.